HARARE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Thursday welcomed a contribution of CA$1 million from the Government of Canada for life-saving humanitarian operations in Zimbabwe. Canada’s total support to WFP since February 2019 is CA$5 million and this latest contribution will enable the provision of emergency assistance to 66,000 people experiencing acute food insecurity.
The latest Canadian contribution comes at a time when Zimbabwe is facing a late harvest, deepening economic uncertainty and the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 7.7 million people – half the population –are severely food insecure. WFP requires an additional US$220 million from its Zimbabwe operations through October.
“Canada is standing with the people of Zimbabwe in addressing food insecurity by providing this additional funding to the WFP to help many suffering severe food insecurity”, said Canadian Ambassador René Cremonese. “It’s essential to be especially supportive in these trying times of COVID-19.”
“WFP would like to thank the Government of Canada for its continuing commitment to the people of Zimbabwe. This backing will advance our shared ambition of improving the well-being of food insecure people in drought-affected areas”, said WFP Zimbabwe Country Director and Representative Eddie Rowe. “We are going straight into our next Lean Season Assistance programme next month, which underscores the severity of the country’s current hunger crisis – which is set to be aggravated by COVID-19.”
The food assistance funded by Canada is to be delivered via WFP’s Lean Season Assistance (LSA) programme, which provides immediate access to food for vulnerable households most affected by persistent drought.
Because of Zimbabwe’s deepening food insecurity, WFP is planning to start its 2020-21 LSA programme next month – earlier than ever before – and continue it through April 2021. The assistance helps limit recourse to detrimental coping, such as the sale of livestock and other assets, that further aggravate their food insecurity.
The United Nations World Food Programme – saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.